We met Mom's surgeon today for her follow-up visit. He took out the drain today and she was happy to have that gone. It didn't hurt as much as she worried it might. Her incisions all look good and are healing nicely. She has been OK'd to take a shower tonight--that is VERY exciting news!
The pathology report is back and the tumor he removed had clear margins so that is a good thing. When he came out of surgery he said that the lymph nodes were cancer free, however the pathology report shows that there was cancer in her sentinel node after all. This changes the course of action that we thought we would be following.
She goes back into surgery on Monday (we won't have an exact time until Thursday) to have the rest of her lymph nodes removed on her left side. At the same time they will put in a Power Port in her right side because now she will be doing a round of chemotherapy. The port will allow them to administer her chemo without having to stick her with a needle each time. It will also mean that when she has blood drawn they can use that as well. There are some side affects to both the Power Port and having her lymph nodes removed. For the lymph nodes, the major concern is the chance of some numbness and swelling in her left arm. For the Power Port there is the chance of infection, clogging and lung collapse on her right side.
The surgery on Monday will be longer than the one she just had, but will also be done under general anesthetic and as an out patient procedure. They will send the lymph nodes back to pathology to see how many more (if any) are cancerous. We are concerned about the EKG leads they will use again because of the terrible itching they caused last time. Dr. Schuss has a couple of things he will try to see if we can avoid such a reaction.
She will be seeing two oncologists after she heals from this surgery, a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist. They will then determine her chemotherapy/radiation plan.
Shannon flies home tomorrow and Uncle Jim and Aunt Connie will be driving home soon as well. I am planning to spend most of next week at mom's while she recovers from this surgery.
While this was an unexpected turn of events, we are all still trusting in the sovereign plan of God and are doing our best to keep our thoughts captive. We are all sure that it is the prayers of our dear family and friends that are helping to bear us up over these last few weeks and that those prayers will continue to bear us up in the weeks to come.
Standing on the promises of God, Dori